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Many of us have basements in our Chicago homes, and many of that number might not be using them to their full potential. There are several things homeowners can do to maximize the space and make it more appealing. Whether you’re in the position to do a major renovation or you just want to make some smaller improvements, here are a few ideas to consider:
Do You Have an Unfinished Basement?
To begin, you should assess the current state of your basement. If it’s unfinished, do you have plans to renovate it? Unfinished basements can pose the most challenges — logistically and financially. If you’re planning to finish your unfinished basement, you have the opportunity to design every component and create any space you want, and it’s easy to make that appealing. But you’ll need to have the budget for it. If you have an unfinished basement with no plans to renovate, you don’t need to write-off the space altogether. There are many smaller upgrades that can be done to better utilize that square footage.
Sufficient lighting is often the primary challenge in a basement. If you’re always viewing a dimly-lit space, it’s going to be harder to see all the potential that’s there. If the only time you spend in the basement is to do laundry, for instance, lighting probably hasn’t been a priority. With the simple addition of brighter lighting, though, you may be able to expand its function a little. It could give you the opportunity to extend your laundry area and better store off-season clothing. Or enhanced lighting could illuminate any unused corners that could be repurposed.
Basements are the perfect place for storage. The controlled climate makes it a better place to store things than the garage, for example. You’re going to want to find a storage system that works best for you. Vertical shelving is usually perfect for basements, and it can help you keep things organized and tidy. By giving different shelves (or sets of shelves) specific purposes, you can better sort your belongings and find things when you need them.
Keep it Clean
If you feel like your basement emits a subtle, musty odor, that’s not uncommon. Try leaving out some bowls of baking soda or white vinegar to absorb the smell. If the odor is strong, you may consider bringing in a professional to check for mold. A new coat of paint on the walls and even a small rug can do wonders in making the basement feel more like a part of your home.
If you have a spacious basement, maybe it’s a place your kids can set up some games after making the above improvements. An indoor spot where a game of catch isn’t endangering any breakable household items, or a place to build a fort that can stay up for weeks on end. With just a little dressing up, your basement can be a great rainy-day option for your kids.
If you’d like to talk more about getting the most out of your basement, or if you need a recommendation for a trusted, local remodeler, please reach out. We’re always happy to help.